Wood/ natural basket:
Various size and shape wooden spoons and implements
A beautiful, painted wooden egg
A wooden train
A large piece of cork
A wooden bell
Various other wooden toys or wooden implements
It would also be lovely to include some driftwood and some pine cones in this basket.
Noisy basket: (yes, this one does include some plastic, but it adds to the range of noises!)
Homemade shakers (plastic bottles containing coloured rice)
Painted wooden egg shakers
Click-clack wooden toys
Small drum with tassels for beating (is it called a tambour??)
Wooden objects to tap together
A piece of crochet
Knitted gloves and puppet
Velvet bag with silk tassels (no, it’s not an offering bag from church!)
Here is Little Pop enjoying all of the contents of the baskets. They started off in groups but quickly became amalgamated. That’s probably a better way anyway!
It was wonderful to sit back and watch her. Usually (pre-baskets!) I hand her a toy or a small range of toys and she gives them all a chew and a shake then discards them. She did the same thing with these objects, except that she continued to pull out one after the other and really explored them, examining them, tasting, feeling, banging with other things and had definite preferences for what she liked.
A lot of concentration and happiness all around!
Not to forget Big Sis who also loved having a rifle through. She, of course, wanted to know what everything was for, not just how it felt or tasted!
Here is Pop having a good look through one basket.
“Nope not interested in that…next!”
“Ooooo, this one’s noisy! And if I bang it onto that it sounds even better!”
“Hmmm, what else is hiding down here?’
“Ta da!! A golden egg. Now we’re talking..”
And the golden egg has become her all time favourite treasure- just like that. As soon as I offer her a basket she immediately leans forward and roots through to see if she can find the egg, then she gets it out, plays with it for a while, then carefully “stores” it next to her while she continues to explore. Every now and then she will pick it up and see how it works in relation to something else eg will it go inside here? does it bash nicely against this? etc. But it all comes back to that egg. I would love to jump inside her curious little 7 month old mind!
This kept her totally absorbed for about an hour, when she started to get hungry! We will be doing this much more often. So, I am now on the look out for more wonderful objects to keep the baskets interesting and fresh. I also want to get a round, shallow one as the original idea suggests as I can really see the benefit in that. And after that, I plan to make a toddler version of this with more open-ended activities that can flow from the treasures. Those are going to be called “Discovery Boxes” and I can’t wait!